Non-binary person putting out the fire/pain in their eyes with a fire extinguisher

My Scleral Lens Mishap

Last updated: December 2022

My final pair of scleral lenses came to me in the mail because the tweak to both the vision and the fit from my previous pair was minor (my doctor didn’t feel the need to bring me back to his office, which was four hours from my home).

I let my lenses sit on my bathroom counter in their case for about a week before I tried them on, because I knew that the process would be time-consuming. So I waited for an uneventful Saturday morning. (See why I decided to try scleral lenses, and how getting fitted for them went).

Having trouble inserting them

I got everything set up: alcohol wipes to clean the insertion plunger, the plunger kit, a towel on the counter to catch excess saline solution that would spill out of the lens, the solution itself, my lenses, and a magnification mirror.

I started with my right eye, which turned out to be my most difficult eye to put my lenses in. For some reason, the angle in trying to hold both my upper and lower lids open for this eye, as well as in trying to insert the lens without spilling much solution, is awkward.

A long process

I’d try once, and the lens would tip and spill. I’d wipe my hands with a towel. Then, I’d get lint inside the lens. I’d pour the solution out and start again. I’d get the lens to my eye, but it wouldn’t suction and take. I’d try again and get the lens in my eye, but there would be an air bubble, making my eyes uncomfortable and my vision blurry.

The entire process to get both lenses in my eyes took about 45 minutes, during which time I used about two packets of saline solution. In trying to fit the lenses into my eyes, I was constantly dousing my eyes with solution. The byproduct was that I was also stripping my eyes of their natural moisture-retaining oils.

Trying to wear the lenses

I wore my lenses for about an hour, but they were uncomfortable. So I decided to take them out. I used the removal plunger to suction the left lens and break the seal it had on my eye. It came out easily. Then, on my right eye, the lens somehow shifted, and I suctioned my own eye with the plunger tool. It really hurt, and it scared me that I might have damaged my eye. Plus, with all of the oil washed away from trying for so long to get my lenses in, my eyes felt markedly worse for about a week.

I was upset with myself for a couple of reasons. Getting these lenses had cost me a lot of time and expense, and now I couldn't see myself ever trying them again. They just weren’t worth it! My eyes were in a somewhat stable place before I had tried them, and I had gone and messed it all up.

Recovering

For the next week, I used my Quantum device, which helps keep oils from the meibomian glands flowing, every day (I usually use it every other day). Over time, my eyes returned to the same state that they were in from before I tried my sclerals. For now I’ll just stick with my glasses.

Have you tried scleral lenses? If so, have you had positive or negative results?

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